Feasting on Erasmus
May 9, 2019 issue
Are the Humanities History?
The problems facing the humanities are in part self-inflicted by the academy. Historians and philosophers, literature profs and art historians too often withdraw into a narrow niche of specialization, using an arcane idiom that makes their work inaccessible to the uninitiated.
April 2, 2019
Trump & CNN, Unhealthy Codependents
From the moment Trump announced his candidacy in 2015, CNN President Jeff Zucker has made him the centerpiece of the network’s journalism—as well as its business model. On the latter, the strategy has been a grand success: 2018 is due to be CNN’s most profitable year ever. But what about its journalism?
November 9, 2018
Luther vs. Erasmus
Erasmus was an internationalist who sought to establish a borderless Christian union; Luther was a nationalist who appealed to the patriotism of the German people. Their conflict represented the clash of two contrasting world views—those of the Renaissance and the Reformation.
February 20, 2018
The War We Aren’t Debating
It’s a social policy that, many experts agree, has failed miserably since it was introduced more than forty years ago, tearing apart families and communities across the United States, consuming tens of thousands of lives abroad, and squandering huge sums of money. Yet hardly any national politician is willing to challenge it, and it’s been completely ignored during the 2012 presidential campaign. I’m speaking of the war on drugs.
October 22, 2012
What Do the Voters Think?
Even when venturing into the field, most reporters stay inside the bubble. They follow the candidates, speak with their handlers, interview consultants, quote think-tank analysts, pore over polling data. Looking over a recent week of coverage in the Times (September 19-26), for instance, I found plenty of stories on PACs, campaign strategy, political operatives, Romney’s tax returns, and the polling data in Ohio and other battleground states. Only one featured extensive interviews with ordinary Americans, and, while helpful, it provided little more than a snapshot.
September 28, 2012
It's Time to Scrutinize Fox
Last year, the New York Times sent three investigative reporters to London to dig into the hacking practices of the News of the World. After five months of reporting and writing, they produced a story that, together with the tenacious reporting of the Guardian, helped set off the current outcry. Why not devote similar resources to Fox, a far more influential outlet on the home front?
July 30, 2011
The News Crisis: What Google Can Do
“How Google Can Help Newspapers,” ran the benign-sounding headline atop an Op-Ed column by Google CEO Eric Schmidt in the December 1 Wall Street Journal. In it, Schmidt sought to rebut claims that, as Les Hinton, the CEO of Dow Jones, has put it, Google is a “digital vampire” that is “sucking the blood” out of the news business. Quite to the contrary, Schmidt argued, Google wants to turn that business around. He wasn’t very convincing. In fact, his article shows how inept Google has been in responding to its critics. I’d like to suggest a better way.
December 10, 2009
A Public Bailout for News?
It was with much curiosity that I opened The Reconstruction of American Journalism, the latest entrant in the great race to save the news in America. Commissioned by Nicholas Lemann, the dean of Columbia’s Graduate School of Journalism, the report was written by Leonard Downie Jr., the highly respected former executive editor of The Washington Post, and Michael Schudson, a leading historian of American journalism who is also at the Columbia J-School. The two spent months crisscrossing the country and interviewing scores of editors, reporters, bloggers, philanthropists, entrepreneurs, and citizens. In the end, the 21,000 words they produced can be boiled down to this: Columbia, the leading journalism school in the country, has placed its imprimatur on the idea of government funding of the news. What sort of impact might that have?
November 9, 2009
The News About the Internet
Bloggers on the Bus: How the Internet Changed Politics and the Press
by Eric Boehlert
And Then There's This: How Stories Live and Die in Viral Culture
by Bill Wasik
Rob Browne at Daily Kos: rbguy.dailykos.com
Juan Cole, Informed Comment: juancole.com
Brad DeLong, Grasping Reality with Both Hands: delong.typepad.com/sdj
Jeffrey Goldberg: jeffreygoldberg.theatlantic.com
Michael Goldfarb: weeklystandard.com/weblogs/TWSFP/
Glenn Greenwald: salon.com/opinion/greenwald/
Ryan Grim at The Huffington Post: huffingtonpost.com/the-news/reporting/ryan-grim
Joanne Jacobs: joannejacobs.com
Ron Kampeas, CapitalJ: blogs.jta.org/politics/
Mickey Kaus, kausfiles: www.slate.com/kausfiles/
Mark Kleiman, The Reality-Based Community: samefacts.com
Ezra Klein at The Washington Post: voices.washingtonpost.com/ezra-klein
Kevin Pho, KevinMD: kevinmd.com
M.J. Rosenberg: tpmcafe.talkingpointsmemo.com/talk/blogs/mjrosenberg
Yves Smith: nakedcapitalism.com
Andrew Sullivan, The Daily Dish: andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com
Tanta at CalculatedRISK: calculatedriskblog.com
Philip Weiss, Mondoweiss: philipweiss.org/mondoweiss
Marcy Wheeler, emptywheel at FireDogLake: emptywheel.firedoglake.com
Matthew Yglesias: yglesias.thinkprogress.org
Talking Points Memo: talkingpointsmemo.com
"Why Are Bankers Still Being Treated As Beltway Royalty?"
by Arianna Huffington
"The State of the News Media, 2009: An Annual Report on American Journalism"
by the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism
"Newspapers and Thinking the Unthinkable"
by Clay Shirky
Ross Douthat at The New York Times: nytimes.com
August 13, 2009 issue
Is It a Great Victory?
The Gamble: General David Petraeus and the American Military Adventure in Iraq, 2006–2008
by Thomas E. Ricks
April 30, 2009 issue